Kumquat tree - No Flowering and No fruit

Robert3823(6)August 3, 2014

I have what I believe to be a fairly nice looking and hearty Kumquat tree. I've had the tree for 7 years. It's always been potted and I sits outside in the summer and inside over the winter. It produces new leaves year round although less in the winter months. This tree has never flowered or produced fruit. I have no idea why. I see other posters on here with trees that appear to be in much worse shape (health wise) that at least flower. I'm not expecting miracles but I'd sure like to see at least a flower or two. What an I doing wrong. I use miracle grow fertilizer and potting mix. I water at least weekly and soil stays moist.

Thank you!

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Is it seed grown, grafted or a cutting?

I'm curious too..I have never heard of that unless it is from seed..


    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:11PM
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Well, funny you should ask. it is seed grown. I went to a local nursery and they insisted it was impossible to grow from seed and told me I must be mistaken. My grandfather brought back a tree from Pearl Harbor following WWII. This tree was grown from seeds that came from descendants of that tree and as far as I know all the trees that were in my grandmothers house were all seed grown from that one tree and I remember they did produce fruit. So is it common for seed grown trees to never flower or bear fruit? Thank you

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 5:47PM
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seed grown usually takes about 10 years to flower

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 9:13PM
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seed from pearl harbor?? wow that try is an heirloom, fruit pr no fruit. I have a feeling eventually it will reward you;)

that tree looks really happy!!

have you considered airlayering your grandmas tree?

Im actually gona snag some Bamboo a vet brought back from Vietnam. When my friend told me where she got it and offered some shoots I was thrilled;)

if you were in Florida I would LOVE some of those seeds, interesting stories make me enjoy the plant even more

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 9:20PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

How do you know it is a kumquat tree. If your grandfather planted a WWII seed, He may have had the wrong seed. Your tree is more than big enough to produce fruit if it is a kumquat. If this tree is an orange or a tangerine it will have to get much larger than that pot would ever permit. to produce fruit.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:22PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

If the seed came from a kumquat tree (regardless of the parent tree being a seedling or being grafted), the chances of your tree being a kumquat are excellent. Nearly all kumquat cultivars come true from seed.

Flowering/fruiting does not so much have to do with the size of a tree, but the cultivar achieving what is called, "mature node count". It varies per cultivar. Some cultivars, such as limes, do not require a high mature node count to produce, so lime seedings may begin to fruit as soon as 3 years. Other cultivars, such as grapefruits, much longer, 12 to 20 years. Your kumquat may simply not have achieved mature node count, yet. Patience is a virtue with seedling citrus trees.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:45PM
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Patty, well said! Thank you....)

Always learning something with you..


    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:49PM
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All, thank you for your responses. I stand corrected. This tree is ~11 years old. My wife reminded me that I planted these seeds before my daughter was born and she's 10.5 years old. Yes, I was told that my grandfather (passed away in 1989) brought back a Kumquat tree following his service in Pearl Harbor during WWII. I took my seeds from one of the fruits that was grown by the tree that lived in my grandmothers bedroom window for many many years (all through my childhood anyway). She told me that the tree came from a plant that my grandfather (brought back or had mailed to her - I'm not sure and she can't really remember). I'd love for it to survive and produce fruit. I've done some reading and found reference that suggests that a tree grown from seed can be a genetic mess and may not produce fruit or if it does it most likely will not be edible. JCitrus, my grandmother's tree died several years ago (most likely due to neglect because my grandmother reached her 90s and was unable to care for plants like she used to). How the heck do I find out if it is orange or Kumquat? Here is what I can remember.. the fruit was so sour you could barely eat it. I never ate the peel. So based on that I assumed it's Kumquat - also, the fruit never got bigger than a golf ball. The fruit was round like an orange and not elongated.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:00PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH


Your tree looks as though it is getting a lot of shade on the porch. Moving it to where it gets full sun will make a big difference. If the fruit was round and barely palatable it is not a kumquat. I blew up you picture and I cant tell whether it is even a citrus tree. Could you post a close up of a leaf.


The picture of the big tree seen below is what a seed grown kumquat tree looks like

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:15PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

This is what a normal seed grown citrus tree of 2/3 the age looks like. She is 19 months old in this picture


    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:20PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

The only way to know if it is a kumquat is to know what fruit you got the seed from. Kumquats are small, oval (for the most part) orange fruits, very seedy and very sour. If that describes your original fruit, you have a little kumquat tree. I agree with Steve, it should be in full sun to encourage growth. If it is full shade, you're going to have to acclimate it to the sunshine slowly over about 2 weeks, but it should be getting as much sunshine as possible to encourage growth. Hopefully it will grow taller and achieve more nodes, and then eventually bloom for you.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:27PM
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BarbJP CA 15-16/9B

If the fruit was OVAL and sour, yep that was probably a kumquat.
If it was round and sour it could have been a Meiwa type kumquat or it could have been a Calamondin, a small round sour citrus fruit. It's often sold as an "indoor dwarf orange"

I don't know if the roundness of a Meiwa kumquat would be inherited in a seed grown kumquat, but I think Calamondins can grow true from seed.

Too bad you never tasted the peel. That would have been the best clue. Kumquat peels are sweet, even though the flesh is sour. Most people eat them together, the peel is also tender as well as sweet.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:54PM
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Thank you all. You're very helpful and greatly appreciated. I will post close up pictures so there is more detail. I'd love to put this tree where it gets more sun, but my deck is the only spot around my house that is elevated and where the rabbits won't enter. Will rabbits harm small Citrus trees? The yard is fenced so no deer can get to it.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:16AM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

This will work

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:37AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Bunnies will eat anything that is tender, so just put your tree up on something as Steve has shown, to keep the bunnies away. I have an elevated veggie garden for this exact reason. Zero bunny activity. And, much less pest activity in general. Haven't had to pick off one tomato hornworm this year, which is rather shocking. They're bound to show up, as the Hawk moth is the moth responsible for that larvae, and of course, being elevated has no impact on the moth visiting my tomato plants, I realize, but certainly no snail/slug activity, which is refreshing for me.

Get your tree in the sun. You should see a dramatic improvement.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:26AM
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You folks are great, I love the feedback. Just got home from work and too a few close-ups. Hopefully this will resolve the identity of this tree. :)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 6:30PM
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Another photo

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 6:36PM
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And another...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:34PM
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